A Blue Mass on Saturday morning in Modesto honored Stanislaus County first responders, starting the new year with prayers for their safety and gratitude for their service. Their families and members of the public also joined at St. Joseph’s Church for the service, which was organized by the parish Knights of Columbus. Among those in attendance were Modesto Police Chief Galen Carroll and Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse. The Mass began with a bagpipe-lead procession to the church. After Mass, Rev. Mark Wagner blessed responder vehicles in the parking lot before all were invited to a lunch at the parish hall. The Blue Mass annually honors police, fire, sheriff, FBI, California Highway Patrol, emergency medical technicians, private security and other emergency personnel.